What’s going on with West Bromwich Albion? In truth, it’s hard to give a definitive answer. But the signs from recent outings all point toward a bottom-half finish, despite the fact the Baggies have sat in eighth spot for 15 weeks.
For much of this Premier League campaign, Tony Pulis’ men have been the most impressive outfit outside of the top seven.
On the whole they’ve struggled against the leading pack, picking up just five of a possible 36 points against those placed seventh or higher.
But more often than not they’ve managed to get the job done against sides below them in the table.
Or rather, that was the case earlier on in the season.
It’s been a different story in recent weeks with the Black Country outfit though. Since that incredible 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Hawthorns back in March, West Brom have drawn one and lost three of their top-flight games.
What’s more is that Albion have failed to score in their last four outings, and the goals have dried up for their star man up-front, Salamon Rondon. The Venezuela international is still the club’s top scorer this season with just seven goals to his name. But worryingly for Baggies fans, the forward hasn’t netted since the turn of the year.
They’re fast slipping back to the Albion of old – lacking enthusiasm, struggling to create chances and not doing the business against the sides they should be beating.
West Brom’s lack of exciting youthful players is something we picked up on last week. Of their current squad, only two players aged 25 or under have featured in the league for them this season.
And while they may have spent so much of this campaign comfortably in the top-half, the pack behind them are beginning to close in, picking up points at a rapid rate.
Sam Allardyce’s Crystal Palace will fancy their chances of achieving a top 10 finish, while Southampton can leapfrog the Baggies with their two games in hand while Watford are also four points off Albion and look good value for a top 10 finish.
The fixture list hasn’t done Pulis’ side any favours either.
Up next is the visit of reigning Premier League champions Leicester City, before West Brom travel to Burnley, who boast one of the best home records in the division.
It doesn’t end there.
After that game against the Clarets, West Brom will face Chelsea and Manchester City before the final game of the season sees them travel to a Swansea City side who may need a win to maintain their Premier League status.
The way things are going right now for Albion, we can’t see them picking up many more points in those games.
And that could well leave them in the bottom-half of the table come 21 May.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing